Because time is not linear – my diabetes blog

Because the past affects the future as the present affects the future, I have decided to amalgamate Monday’s blog with a little of today’s, and because an old friend has encouraged me to continue with it….

Day 4.

I forgot to eat breakfast this morning. My partner kindly offered to make me some toast. He knows I often skip breakfast. I was feeling clogged up and didn’t want bread. I wish I could test my theory that fruit sugar isn’t a cause of diabetes. I would much rather eat a small tin of pineapples or peaches. I usually buy these in fruit juice not syrup. I have always chosen the ones in fruit juice. The ones in syrup are cheaper, and I confess that I have been tempted twice this year to buy the cheaper version.

I am sure that I read somewhere that fruit sugar was not bad for you. I am sure it is called fructose.

I used to be quite health conscious as a teenager. I would fast for at least one day a month. I haven’t lost this habit. Except I only fast when I feel clogged up. Today would be a good day to fast, except my fasting usually consists of drinking 3 cartons of fruit juice made from pressed juice, not concentrates; concentrates are not supposed to be good for you.

I slept in too long this morning. I was perfectly awake at 6 am. I get up at 7 and do a small amount of ironing, after staring out at the garden which is beginning to bloom. The tulips are out. They love this cold spell which is lingering on in the mornings.

I am looking forward to checking my messages which will mainly be from my children. Yesterday my phone was completely clogged all day and refused to charge. Today it is fully charged. I will turn the sound down on Whattsap so that I don’t have to read the messages from work. I am due in for the afternoon shift.

Well, here I am at the coffee shop drinking my latte which, I suppose, is my breakfast. It is time to decide which book to work on and to locate it on the mess of memory sticks which I keep on strings tied into an old purse. This is the best part of my day.

I should tell you that I drink two to three glasses of water with my coffee every morning. Today is no different.

I need to remember to go to Aldi and buy the greens this morning. I am looking forward to a late breakfast.

Yesterday, I finally got around to typing up my second diabetes blog, and noticed that another blogger I do not know has liked my piece. I wonder whether the blogger has read my piece or is just showing an interest. Lately, I have begun to get into the habit of liking posts on twitter which I have not had time to digest fully. I never used to do this. But I tell myself that it is ok to like something which I am interested in even if I don’t know what the writing is like.

I re-read my first diabetes blog and noticed 3 errors. I corrected two of these and forgot to correct the word “bath” to Bath. I must go back and do this soon. When I am reading other people’s blogs I find typos annoying.

I decide to slow down with my typing so that I can correct the errors as they occur. I will get less done today, but save time later.

When I enter the coffee shop, it is noisy and everybody is talking too loud. I feel as though I have a hangover even though I rarely drink.

I notice that I have lost a follower and wonder whether this is because of my crappy diabetes diary.

I am typing this on my miniature lap top, since I only have my Amazon tablet with me, and I don’t like writing on that. I can never find the icons for editing. They drop off, or disappear from time to time, and it isn’t clear enough for me to write straight onto.

I read through yesterday’s blog while I write this. I begin to feel impatient when I notice another error. I correct it, but it is a slow process which requires that you revert to ‘edit’ mode and then ‘read’ mode and then back to ‘edit’ mode to check your errors. This was the way KDP Select were when I edited my debut short story, Bertha’s Journal: A Perfect Immelman Turn, and is why there are still a couple of errors in that even though I edited it 9 separate times. It is frustrating and not as good as having paper in front of you. It would be easier if it were possible to open an editing page separately, or edit directly onto the finished product. I begin to wonder whether I have time to write this blog. It is taking me away from my other writing. Have I created it as a diversion?

Yesterday, after not knowingly eating any sugar for three days, I noticed that I had spots around my ears and on my neck. I used to get these a great deal when I did nothing but drink lattes and not eat very much in 2016 when I was studying Cache Level 3 so that I could become a teaching assistant. I had spent my savings on the course and had then lost my job by being over efficient, or so I was told; they didn’t need another manager. I could tell you more, but that would be indiscreet, so I was very poor that year; too poor to eat properly. I had managed to keep a roof over my head and my daughter and myself in our lovely cottage, but it was cold and difficult to heat because of the sash windows which let in the draft. It was easier, when my daughter was at school, to go for a walk or a cycle or sit in the coffee shop to keep warm then. I suppose I could have spent my £3.00 a day on food, but the latte gave me a lovely full feeling in my stomach. We were living off the Job Seekers Allowance that year, and it was only about £70 a week, so after bills we had around £7 a day sometimes for food. The Child Benefit usually paid for shoes for my daughter; the only ones that didn’t have paper-thin soles were £60 a pair. I had to drive myself to the Job Centre in the next town, and my daughter to school and collect her for half the month, unless I gave her the money for the bus, so when there was anything left from the £82 it went on that, or a takeaway meal which I treat her to occasionally.

I finish writing this and some of my children’s story and go and buy the greens. They are only 59 pence, so I also buy some beetroot because mum reminded me about it. I realise that I haven’t eaten beetroot for ages. I quite like it. I also buy some honey, which I often eat and have always loved. In the Bible there is a sentence about honey which basically says you should eat honey. Apart from Grimms Fairy Tales, the Bible was a book I was read from a great deal as a child by my father, so I tend to remember some of the wisdom in it.

I eat two of the 6 beetroot and a saucepan of greens with a dollop of butter, two glasses of water and two cups of Indian tea (Tetley—my favourite); no one has paid me to state the name of my favourite tea.

I drink two cups of herb tea at work. This is usual. I have forgotten my water. I don’t trust the tap at work so I don’t drink water.

Later at work, I have a full feeling that is unfamiliar. I do not like it.

I ignore the full feeling and work extra fast, hoping I will burn off some calories. I feel sluggish. I haven’t cycled my usual 30 k at all last week so I do not know whether this feeling is down to my diet change or the lack of my usual exercise.

An hour before the end of the day I have a craving for something sweet. I haven’t bought anything sweet, so I dream of Snickers and then start to wonder whether I should use that Coop coupon and buy some tinned pineapples after work. I then start wondering whether there are diabetic biscuits. I am sure I have seen them somewhere, or jam with low sugar. As I walk down the high street I wonder whether that licorice I usually buy has sugar in it. I resist going to the health food shop to stop myself from buying anything sugary. I tell myself I will cook some rice with honey when I get home.

After work, I decide to go for another latte because I feel low. I want to go for a ride, but I haven’t finished my blog, and it is taking me longer than usual, so I sit in there for an hour and type this up.

I am thinking that I suppose the full feeling earlier was a good thing. I am also thinking that I ought to ring that number tomorrow and try out the programme to help me to control my glucose levels.

During the day, I feel sure that a customer has read my blog and is acting strangely because of it. This is completely irrational. I have begun to be aware of how my thoughts affect my mood, so I pay attention to this feeling and the one that follows it telling me that I must give up this blog because everyone is reading it and will know my business. I am a very private person and do not want any attention; I am far too sensitive for it. I should go back to writing my fiction and sending off one or two query letters a year.

So far I have managed to ignore the negative voice telling me to stop this blog, which is why I am finishing it in the coffee shops right now. I am typing this onto a Word document and not into the WordPress site and instantly blogging it, so I have no idea whether I will publish it at all. I think that this view into my day is far too long for a blog. My gardening blog was much shorter and more light-hearted. Perhaps I should go back to that.

I have lost two followers on Twitter; was it the blog? I have also gained two.

As I type this, I wonder whether this blog is taking me away from my fiction; I decide it isn’t as I am not in the mood to write fiction right now.

Tuesday tomorrow, a whole day to write till my heart’s content. I shall write fiction….

***

Well it is now Wednesday evening. 

I had waited half an hour for the call back about the ‘healthy you diabetes prevention programme’, and then gone for my ride. There are many people in my life who call me and waiting in for a call is rarely something I do. There was no call back. I will phone again tomorrow.

I have managed to cycle short rides; 3 of them; not my usual 30k. I have also played tennis. The tennis courts are provided free here and we have managed to play tennis at least once a week almost every single week this past year. At first the tennis was difficult because my stomach is swollen again, causing me to feel sluggish. This has not happened since I decided to eat less because of it, and it is worrying. Perhaps the lack of sugar is causing me to eat more. I feel like I do when I decide to fast. Perhaps it has been a month since the last time. I resolve to fast tomorrow even though I am worried because fasting would involve 3 cartons of juice, and I am not sure about drinking all that fruit sugar.

I notice that I am craving a huge plate of grated carrot. I begin to think of salad. It is a lovely day, and I am thinking how lucky I am to be able to have some afternoons free to play tennis locally, out in the fresh air and the sunshine. This is one good thing that has come of my local part-time job. I am not stuck in traffic and I am not fearing that the sick person I am covering as an LSA or TA is returning to reclaim their job. I am not working for an agency, and because of this, I know that I will return to work tomorrow morning at the same place and not be sent somewhere else and have to establish relationships with a staff room of people and memorise 20 to 30 new children’s names, read a host of new care plans, and get to know a new class of people; of course, there were rewarding aspects to this work; but to do this over and over again, beginning anew takes the energy out of a person. There should be more funding for support work in schools and colleges.

I arrive home to write this, and after reading some encouragement from an old friend that I haven’t seen in years, I decide to publish this truth warts and all.

I drink a cup of tea, and find some cooked rice in a microwave packet which I fry and eat with a spoon of honey and a large spoon of that sugar free blueberry jam sweetened with fruit juice. The jam reminds me of the fresh plum jam I used to make for the family when we lived in the big Bournemouth house with the plum tree. I would simply lightly boil the plums or, when they were very ripe, just mash them and we’d eat them on toast.

After an hour of editing this, I notice that my stomach is a little less swollen.

Best wishes,

Hermione

 

 

 

 

Published by hermionelaake contributing editor O:JA&L

Currently, whist working on long fiction, I write short stories, poetry, essays and blog weekly. I appeared on Blog Talk Radio, 2016, interview across continents with Susan Wingate. See my twitter account: herziloph, pinned tweet; Award nominee, Jointly-published and Indie writer. Nominated for the Avon and Authonomy First Lines prize, 2014 and the H. G. Wells Grand Prize for Fiction, 2013. My flash fiction is published with Open: Journal of Arts and Letters.

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